During the holiday season, we tend to celebrate the big things in our lives: family, friends, country, and home. When the American populace can seem divided, it is particularly important to focus on the things that bring us together. That is not to say that I don’t argue with my family and friends, because political and social “discussions” with my brother and uncle are as eagerly awaited as the stuffing.
Togetherness at Thanksgiving is about trust, respect, and recognizing the many bounties in our lives. We have a beautiful country that guarantees our freedoms as well as anywhere on earth. We have a home, if only a metaphoric one, held up not by concrete and wood, but the relationships that keep us safe and happy.
In this newsletter, you’ll find books that highlight an area where we should always be giving thanks, not just at the end of November.
- Andrew, Head Book Buyer
Friendsgiving by Alexandra Shytsman
Sometimes, it is not easy to celebrate with family on the busiest travel weekend of the year. You might be trapped by weather, work, or school, away from the relations that you love. In recent times, Friendsgiving has stepped in to solve the problem. This is a great collection of recipes, menus, and ideas to make holidays with friends memorable and delicious.
Revolution Song by Russell Shorto
Using the stories of six people, Russell Shorto has painted a broad picture of life and struggle in the 18th century. Shorto looks at the lives of a young woman, the British Secretary of War, an Iroquois chief, a free black man (living in Connecticut), an ambitious politician in Albany, and George Washington. He fills the book with fascinating details about each one and in so doing provides a deeper understanding of the society that the revolution played out in. Fascinating, thought provoking, entertaining - a must read. Read the rest of Gail's Review.
The Mayflower by Rebeccca Fraser
Follow the Winslow family as they cross the Atlantic for religious freedom. The patriarch, Edward Winslow, forges a unique relationship with the Massassoit chief of the Wampanoags leading to the first Thankgsiving. Fifty years later, the sons of these two great men are locked head to head in King Philip's War. This Thanksgiving, maybe let’s all learn how NOT to build grudges that last decades.
Filled with striking photographs and vivid profiles, this book lives up to its billing: the best of The New York Times Home Section. The gorgeous interior and architectural designs found within span a wide range of styles, inspirations, and locales, from Alabama to Russia, with a wealth of gorgeous selections from the New York area alone. Any lover of beautiful and unique homes will enjoy sinking into the pages of this exceptional collection.
Second Bloom: Cathy Graham’s Art of the Table by Alexis Clark and Quentin Bacon
Consider this your invitation to celebrate the charming whimsy of noted artist and entertaining maven Cathy Graham. Each beautifully photographed page is a delight! You will be inspired by Cathy's floral arrangements, tickled by the hidden treasures on her table settings, and simply astonished by each painstaking detail that raises her parties to events. I may never put a fur-covered Ken doll on my Christmas table, but I'm thrilled to live in Cathy's world.
Walking by Henry David Thoreau
In celebration of the bicentennial of Thoreau’s birth, this slim volume is more relevant than ever. Walking is Thoreau’s essay about the importance of mindfulness within nature, and in this special edition, is complemented by beautiful black and white nature photographs. You’ll feel more connected after reading – a perfect give for the nature lover in your life.
As I strolled through the picture book section recently, I found Brave by Stacy McAnulty, one of my favorite authors. She shows a diverse group of kids being brave by doing the most ordinary (and yet extraordinary) things, from standing up for a bullied child, to cleaning up a playground. The simple text could not have been more powerful.
This season I am thankful for the diversity of people and ideas that authors from all over the world share with our children through their stories, promoting a message of tolerance and hope. I wish you a happy and hopeful Thanksgiving!
- Jamie, Kids' Book Buyer
Shh! A Chris Haughton Boxed Set by Chris Haughton
Who are Chris Haughton’s books for? Who aren’t they for! Beautifully illustrated stories, with amazing use of color, that are funny every time you read them. They each have underlying messages that are simple and deeply meaningful, appropriate for all ages. This set is a must have!
Autumn: A Pop-Up Book by David A. Carter
This simple pop-up book of autumn is ideal for little ones to explore the magic of moving paper as you open each page. Gentle questions lead to exploring the illustrations as the animals and earth quietly settle down for winter.
Papillon Goes to the Vet by A. N. Kang
When Papillon the very fluffy kitty gets the hiccups, he can’t float! He must take his first trip to the vet in this heart-warming follow up to the first Papillon book! Little ones will enjoy seeing how one might feel sick and then get well again.
I fell in love with Pak’s first book, Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn, and I am equally happy with this follow-up. Gorgeous illustrations signal the subtle change in season while a brother and sister wish goodbye to things around them, embracing the new season as it arrives. Quiet, thoughtful, and joyous!
The Incredible Magic of Being by Kathryn Erskine
Fantastic realistic fiction, with many interesting science facts; yet much of this amazing story pushes into the ‘magic’ of parallel universes and human connection. Like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Julian tells the story of his family, two Moms and a sister, through the lens of his medical issues. Hilarious, heartbreaking, and ultimately a heartwarming story of family, love, and the great cosmos we call home.
Spy School Secret Service by Stuart Gibbs
In Spy School Secret Service, Ben Ripley once again takes on a mission to thwart SPYDER. The Goal: to protect the president from an assassination. For the first time ever, Ben must go in solo. This is an excellent book, filled with combat, ingenious deductions, and falling whale skeletons. With well-developed characters and cunning villains, mystery readers are sure to love this book.
- ARC reviewer Matthew X, age 12.
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
Look out Charles Dickens—there’s a new Scrooge in town! And this time, instead of a crabby old man it’s a self-absorbed, over entitled, nasty teenage girl named Holly Chase! When three ghosts visit Holly on Christmas Eve, she learns what will happen unless she changes her ways. Just like Scrooge, she has a choice—redemption or death. Can she be rehabilitated? Better yet, can she help rehabilitate another Scrooge named Ethan, who is just like herself, except he’s a self-centered, money driven, teenage boy? Laughing and maybe even crying a little, you’ll get to the end of this book and say, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!”
The Speaker by Traci Chee
Signed copies available while supplies last! As the story begun in The Reader continues, we find Sefia and Archer back in the forest, having escaped the Guard, who will kill to get their hands on The Book. Searching for answers to Archer’s nightmares of his life as a fighter, and Sefia’s guilt over the deeds of her parents, they come upon a crew of Impressors. Between the two of them, they subdue the Impressors and rescue the captive boys, and thus the beginning of the Bloodletters is born. Still trying to find a way to derail the Guard’s plan for world domination, will Sefia have to sacrifice all to save not only the kingdoms, but also Archer, whom she has come to love as more than a friend?
Set your table this Thanksgiving with the warm colors of autumn and a scattering of pinecones, whether they be candles or bookends.
We love this beautiful "Give Thanks" tea towel, autumn leaves napkins,
and a gorgeous themed platter to complete the look!
Not sure what to pick? A Gift Card is always a great gift!